Stability: Give the crib a good shake at the shop or after you put it together in your home. If it wobbles or rattles, it might have been placed together improperly.
Babies often spend more time at the crib than anywhere else, so while comfort is important, safety is essential. As most kids sleep in a crib until it is time to move into a real bed -- normally between the ages of 2 and 3 -- you will want a sturdy one.
Cribs with drop sides: The rule is simple -- do not use them. The movable railings called drop sides were common on cribs for a long time, but might pose a serious hazard for infants. If the drop side comes or dries loose, then a baby can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate from the distance between the drop side and the crib mattress. Their sale has been banned since 2011.
Many mothers like to have the crib set up a few months before their due date. But do not be concerned if the baby arrives before your infant does; tots do good in a bassinet, cradle, or sleeper for your first few weeks or even months of their lives.
Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs allow you to alter the elevation of the crib mattress simply by raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to reduce the mattress is if your child starts sitting up. As kids get more active and proceed to pulling up and standing, they can climb and drop from the crib.
When establishing a crib, choose a place away from windows, window blinds, and draperies. Babies can strangle on the cords, and mature infants could possibly pull themselves up and drop through the window. If there's a cable in your infant screen, keep it at least 3 feet from the crib.
Frame size: The crib interior ought to snugly adapt a standard crib mattress -- at least 51 3/4 inches by 27 3/8 inches wide. Ensure that there is no distance between the sides of the mattress and the crib walls. This poses a considerable danger, as babies can get trapped in that space.
Old Automobiles: Cribs made before 1974, when national crib-safety standards went into effect, are somewhat more likely than newer versions to have security problems. Secondhand cribs might also have splinters, lead paint, discontinued (and possibly dangerous) attributes, or slats that are too far apart. Slats should be no longer than 2 3/8 inches apart (about the size of a soda can) to prevent a baby's head from getting suck. Posts on a crib should no higher than 1/16 of an inch (unless they're over 16 inches high to support a canopy); differently, clothes can catch them on and injure or choke an infant. Even versions fabricated as recently as 1991 could be dangerous, so if you're borrowing a crib or buying a used one, look out for these dangers as well as for sharp edges, protruding metal, anything that may be broken off and spilled onpeeling paint, along with cutouts along the railing that can trap your child's arm or neck. Examine the product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it has not been recalled.
Bumpers: Crib bumpers -- cushioned cushioning that attaches to the interior railings of the crib -- are occasionally still included in crib bedding sets, but a number of organizations, including the AAP, now dissuade them as a SIDS hazard for babies.
Full-sized cribs, including convertibles, vary from $110 to $800.
Safety limits: Crib manufacturers recommend discontinuing use (or turning into the product's next phase , for convertible cribs) when your child reaches a specific height, weight, or developmental phase. Height/weight limits are usually much lower on portable or mini-cribs. Read your product manual carefully and follow instructions.
Most new cribs available on the market comply with both voluntary and mandatory safety standards. For starters, be sure yours is properly assembled and structurally sound; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports many cases where Automobiles have come . If this happens, a baby's head can get trapped in the spaces between the mattress and side rail.
Safe sleep recommendations: Get advice about crib bedding and sleep position to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.
For a foam mattress, more significant than depth, though, is high density; weight may be a good indicator -- a heavier mattress is denser than one that's the exact same size but lighter. (See our purchasing guide to learn more on buying crib mattress.)
Be sure the crib makeover is relatively simple to do (check online reviews from parents) and that you enjoy the look of the brand new furniture.
Space savers: Parents short on distance may be interested in mobile or mini-crib options, each of which take up less space compared to full-size cribs. Some fold or collapse for storage; a few have wheels so they can be rolled around the home.